Artificial Lung - Patent 8142546

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Artificial Lung - Patent 8142546 Powered By Docstoc
Description: The present invention generally relates to an artificial lung.BACKGROUND DISCUSSION Conventional artificial lungs include those having a hollow fiber membrane bundle. An example of such an artificial lung is described in Japanese Patent Laid-Open No. Hei 11-47268, corresponding to European Application Publication No. 0 895786. This artificial lung includes a housing, a hollow fiber membrane bundle (hollow fiber membrane accumulation) contained in the housing, a blood inflow port and a blood outflow port, and a gas inflow port and a gas outflow port. In the eventbubbles are present in the blood flowing in via the blood inflow port of the artificial lung having such a configuration, it is preferable that the bubbles are removed by the hollow fiber membrane bundle. However, problems arise in that the bubbles are not sufficiently removed by the hollow fiber membrane bundle and might flow out to the blood outflow port together with the blood.SUMMARY According to one aspect of the present invention, an artificial lung includes: a housing; a hollow fiber membrane bundle contained in the housing and in which a multiplicity of hollow fiber membranes having a gas exchanging function areaccumulated; a gas inflow portion and a gas outflow portion communicated with each other through the lumens of the hollow fiber membranes; and a blood inflow portion and a blood outflow portion in which blood flows. The hollow fiber membrane bundle hasa cylindrical overall shape. A bubble trapping filter member which is adapted to trap bubbles is provided at an outer peripheral portion of the hollow fiber membrane bundle or at an intermediate portion in the thickness direction of the hollow fibermembrane bundle. Preferably, the filter member is provided in contact with an outer peripheral portion of the hollow fiber membrane bundle and covers substantially the entire part of the outer peripheral portion. In the artificial lung, a gap is preferablyformed between the filter member and the h